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You can find Share Frome at 3A the Bridge, Market Place, Frome BA11 1AR, opposite the Blue House. We are open; Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm and Saturday 10.00 am to 12 noon.
There are various differences between a hire shop and a Library of Things, specifically one set up like SHARE Frome:
– Our Library of Things is non-profit and aims to be a community action group, rather than a commercial enterprise;
– It contains a wide range of things, including many that a hire shop would not have;
– It aims to loan items out more cheaply than a hire shop would and thus to be affordable for anyone;
– We aim to be part of a change in economic behaviour that will reduce waste, through the Library itself and being involved in wider networks of events, campaigns and activities.
SHARE Frome is a social initiative by Edventure:Frome in association with Frome Town Council and the Cheese and Grain. The set-up of the shop was undertaken by a group of eight young people in just two months, as part of specialist training in community entrepreneurship, run by Edventure. Much help was given by the local community in the form of advice, expertise, time, donations, opinions and enthusiasm! In 2017, a new team of 6 Edventure students undertook the challenge of taking SHARE to the next level. With a revamp of the shop’s layout, appearance and storage space, as well as the introduction of a new volunteer scheme and social referral programme, the students turned SHARE into an even more impactful community enterprise in Frome. The shop is now under the management of Aliss and Sam, two Frome locals, and a team of hard-working volunteers.
We have a wide range of items which can be useful and practical, but also fun and entertaining. These are our 10 categories:
- Arts and Crafts– from sewing machines to glue guns
- Baby and Children – from pushchairs to baby mobiles
- Events – from projector screens to bunting
- DIY – from drills to ladders
- Gardening tools – from lawnmowers to hedge trimmers
- Household and Garden – from vacuum cleaners to hammocks
- Kitchen Equipment – from blenders to dehydrators
- Leisure and Camping – from tents to metal detectors
- Music, Media and Audio/Visual – from guitars to speakers
- Sports and Games – from golf clubs to roller blades
View our full list of Things here: https://sharefrome.org/things/
We have a criteria for deciding what things we stock. However, if you are looking to declutter, we can take most items and put them in a sale to raise funds:
- Items that are clean, undamaged and in good working order
- Useful items on our system that need replacing regularly (eg sanders)
- Spares for our DIY items such as jigsaw blades and sandpaper
- Car seats and helmets
- Items that require a large amount of maintenance
- Gas and petrol items
- Duplicates of less popular items
If you are unsure as to whether we would like your donation, please give us a call or email. For items that we are specifically looking for, see our Wish List.
We source our Things from local donations, which means we are using what may otherwise be lying around not being used, or possibly even thrown away. This way, we can make the most of the lives of items, by using less things for longer periods, rather than more things for shorter periods. This helps reduce individual consumption, which not only helps the planet but also helps to develop the strength of the community. Sometimes these items come broken, but we try as hard as we can to fix them with our great team of repairers.
Occasionally we will also use the funds raised from your membership and borrowing, local business sponsorship, donations and sales profit to buy brand new or more expensive second hand items that we think will be useful to the community. Examples of these might be carpet cleaners, bell tents, gazebos, PA systems and more.
- If you think Share Shop would benefit from it, have a look at our criteria above.
- Repair it! We have a regular Repair Cafe, where you can bring your broken things. Keep a look on our website for the next event.
- You can also post in a local Facebook group to ask for a repair expert.
- Sell it or give it away online on sites like FreeCycle, Freegle, Gumtree, Ebay or local Facebook groups.
- Give it to a charity shop
- Recycle it – Look up your closest recycling centre. Check out what materials they accept, and any other restrictions before you make the trip.
Yes! If we think the item will be popular and borrowed often, we’ll either add to our wish list to see if anyone has one they can donate, or we will use our funds to buy a new or second hand one.
We consider the value of the item by it’s condition, how new it is, how much it cost to buy and how long someone might need to borrow it. We then decide on a ‘suggested minimum donation’ per borrow that allows members to save a substantial amount of money by borrowing instead of buying. Occasionally we will ask for a deposit ranging from £20-£60, to ensure higher value items are kept in good condition and to insure against misuse or theft. ‘Suggested minimum donation’ is the minimum donation we require to remain financially sustainable.
We ask borrowers to flag any damage they notice as soon as possible. This kicks off the repair process and also ensures the next borrower is not let down. To do small repairs like unblocking the pressure washer or replacing the jig saw blades, our small team of local volunteer fixers will try to do simple fixes. When an item is beyond a quick fix, we decide whether it is more efficient to have it professionally mended or simply to donate/sell or recycle it. We understand that items will break eventually and we don’t charge members for these types of breakages. However we do reserve the right to withhold funds if items are deemed to have been broken by serious misuse or neglect.
All electrical items are PAT-tested before they go out. In addition, as far as possible we test items to see if they work before they ‘go live’ on the catalogue. We ask previous borrowers if items are still in good working order when they return them. We loan all items in good faith believing that they work as intended. That said, things do sometimes fail, we sometimes may not spot an imperfection, and so on. In this case we would of course apologise and offer to refund the credit to your account. Please let us know of all the details so that we can deal with the problem as best we can.
To borrow from Library of Things, you need to:
- Be 18 or over.
- Have an email, so we can send you receipts and important information about your borrow.
- Sign the Liability Waiver included in the sign-up process.
- Display a form of ID when you first use us.
We want to make borrowing fair, friendly and fun – without hidden catches and sneaky small print. That’s why it’s important that all our borrowers agree to these 5 simple rules of borrowing:
- Bring the item back clean and tidy.
- Bring the item back on time so the next borrower isn’t kept waiting, and to avoid late fees!
- Make sure you know how to use the item properly by following the instructions (often displayed on the item’s listing in the online inventory, or by asking one of our volunteers for help in the shop).
- Tell us about any damages immediately here so we can fix or replace in time for the next borrower.
- Share your feedback, stories & ideas here so we can keep improving Library of Things for future borrowers – We love it when people post reviews online e.g. Facebook.
You can make a reservation online by going into the inventory, signing in and clicking ‘Reserve’ on the item that you want. You can then select the dates on a calendar. If you want to add more items to this reservation, simply keep pressing ‘Reserve’ on the items you want and they will be put in a Reservation Cart in the top right corner. To complete the reservation, hover over the cart and click ‘Complete Reservation’. Alternatively, you can phone or drop into the Share Shop during opening hours to make a reservation or if you are having any issues reserving online and need us to complete it manually.
Normally you will need to ‘borrow’ the consumables along with your item, but this is a small extra ‘suggested minimum donation’. See the item descriptions to see what is required.
The default time for most items is two days. However, for the same amount you can request the borrow to last up to a week. There is no maximum borrowing time, so if you wanted an item for 3 weeks for example, you’d pay 3 times the suggested minimum donation. There are some items which have different loan lengths set e.g. Plant Propagators or Reusable Nappies are set at one month as nobody would borrow these for any shorter amount of time.
The prices displayed next to each item on our inventory are our ‘suggested minimum donation’. All borrows from SHARE are essentially done via donation. The suggested minimum donation is the minimum amount we realistically need to be able to receive in order to be financially sustainable.
There is no set limit to how many items you may borrow at one time.
Log in to your account online, and click on your username in the top right corner. Click on ‘Reservations’. You can then find the reservation and click ‘Cancel’. If you are unsure, drop us a message via email or Facebook, or give us a call during our opening hours.
Need to extend your loan? First, check nobody else has reserved it after you. If your item is available, you can select the days you need it for. If your item is booked, you’ll have to return it at the time you planned. If not, we will charge a daily late fee. We do this to encourage the items to be ready for other borrowers, who can see via the inventory when an item is due in.
Our objective is to make borrowing fair, friendly and fun. We know damages happen, and that 99% of the time these aren’t intentional. We simply ask that borrowers are honest and let us know about any damages.
As mentioned above, it is not always the borrowers fault and mistakes happen, but we ask that you are honest about what has happened so we can start looking for a replacement or fix. For higher value items that require a deposit, we reserve the right to keep this in order to replace the item.
The first time you borrow from you will need to bring proof of who you are and of your address, e.g. a driving licence or passport. If you have neither of these and no other photographic proof of address we can accept two non-photographic forms of ID e.g. utility bills.
You can pay for your membership and make your borrowing donations via cash or card. Deposits must be taken in cash. For card payments we use a payment processing provider called Stripe. Stripe is a PCI Service Provider Level 1, which is the highest grade of payment processing security. If you are having difficulty making a payment, please contact us at [email protected] or 07983639611.
Public book libraries are free at the point of borrowing but they are paid for in your Council Tax. The Library of Things needs to cover its expenses.
As well as the most obvious thing of becoming a member (Subscriber membership is the best way to support us) and borrowing from us, there are a few other things you can to support us:
- You can volunteer with us, whether that’s in the shop or at one of our repair cafes.
- You can donate money or items.
- Sign up for our newsletter.
- Spread the word about us and encourage others to sign up! Share us on social media and tell people about your borrowing experience.
We are in favour of attempts to waste less, move towards “zero waste” and develop the sharing economy. Beyond using the Library you can support our mission in your own life by making efforts to consume fewer things and waste less. Here are some ideas:
- Share more things with neighbours/ friends/family
- Be more mindful about what you really need to buy .
- Buy second-hand.
- Buy good-quality things from ethical suppliers that will last longer than cheap alternatives.
- Extend the life of your things by repairing them. If you don’t know how come along to one of our repair cafes and learn or have it done for you.
- Don’t throw away your unwanted things if they could be reused or repurposed (try selling them, giving to us or to charity shops, or putting them on Freecycle).
- You might encourage your workplace or other organisations you’re involved with to adopt some of these ideas as well.
Set Up Your Own LoT
Together with the London Library of Things and SHARE Oxford we set up ShareFest – an annual conference for Libraries of Things. Register your interest with us to attend the next one for us to be able to help you start up and continue the expansion of the network. We also have a ToolKit which answers many of the questions new Libraries of Things ask and outlines many of the pitfalls to avoid as well as things you can do to succeed. Please contact us to request this and we’ll ask for a donation on our Just Giving page in return.